Even though there is less drama on daytime TV as it seems one by one, the soap operas fade into television oblivion, there is plenty of drama leading up to the 137th Kentucky Derby on May 7th, just 15 days away.
On Wednesday at Keeneland the Post Positions were drawn for the $200,000 Gr. 3 Coolmore Lexington Stakes. This race is the last opportunity for Derby wannabe’s to leap into the Top 20 of graded stakes earnings and guarantee a spot in the Derby starting gate, but only six runners were entered for this “last chance for the Derby” event. One name was missing from the six, Jaycito, who was pointing to this race as his final prep, but according to trainer Bob Baffert, “He just wasn’t quite ready for this… we are still pointing to the Derby though”. Among the six runners, only Silver Medallion, currently 24th on the graded stakes earnings list with $184,334 has a shot to crack the Top 20, but he must win because second-place purse money ($40k) wouldn’t be enough to leap over Santiva (#20 at $242,397) and Watch Me Go (#21 at $235,500). The connections of the latter have stated if he becomes eligible, he’ll be entered to run in the Derby.
Thursday blog trivia question: The major Derby prep races held within that timeframe were the Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, Illinois Derby, Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas Derby. What occurred in each of these seven (7) races that one runner in each race had in common and could you name them?
Blog reader Brian could and did. All 7 Post Time favorites did not win. They were… Mucho Macho Man (3rd in Louisiana Derby), Soldat (5th in Florida Derby), Uncle Mo (3rd in Wood Memorial), Watch Me Go (6th in Illinois Derby), Silver Medallion (4th in Santa Anita Derby), Santiva (9th in Blue Grass Stakes) and The Factor (7th in Arkansas Derby).
(Archarcharch holds off Nehro to win Arkansas Derby)
Recapping, Day 12 (Thursday, April 21st) at the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet Toe Shoes (# 11; 10th race on the turf; M/L 4-1; P/T 5-2) ran well stalking the front-runners, moved towards the leaders entering the stretch, seemed to hang in the final furlong, but jock appeared to steady a bit just before the wire as the winner was a half length in front of her on her right and runner-up came out on her left, putting the squeeze on her. So she misses winning by less than a length and settles for 3rd, returning $3.60 to SHOW.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 12 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 4 WIN – 2 PLACE – 2 SHOW.
Longshot Man From Hope (# 1; 9th race; M/L 8-1; P/T 6-1) came out in the Post Parade looking washed out and as if he had already run the 1 1/16 mile… and he ran that way, a very dull effort finishing last. This is a classic situation as to why it’s so tough to pick winners 24 hours in advance, sight unseen. After seeing this guy on the track, he didn’t get any of my money.
Longshot pick scorecard from 12 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 3 WIN – 3 PLACE – 1 SHOW
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $71 on I Suppose (# 4; 2nd race; M/L 8-5; P/T SCR) never happened due to being scratched, so I then reverted to another horse (#1 – Magnum Flight M/L 9-2; P/T 2-1) in order to have action for this wager. Bad move! Somebody forgot to tell Magnum Flight that he was running against the same class of horses in which he had finished in-the-money in his past 6 races. He never got up a gallop and finished dead last, taking down the remaining amount in the SHOW Parlay bankroll, killing this wager for the rest of the Pimlico Meet.
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 13 (Friday, April 22nd) …
Soup Of The Day: Sausage Gumbo
Best Bet: Easter Rising (# 4; 1st race; M/L 4-1), C’mon Man! Every good Catholic boy like yours truly is observing Holy Week, it’s Good Friday and Sunday is Easter. There are others in here that figure. Hence the 4-1 M/L makes her the 3rd choice. She tried the turf going a mile in her last start, flashing good speed until she threw in the towel entering the stretch. She’s back on dirt sprinting at the same level she did 2 back when she was runner-up with Camacho in the irons.
Longshot: Hesagoldmine (# 4; 5th race on the turf; M/L 12-1) makes his second start in 2011, where his first was taken off the turf and run in the slop going 5 furlongs. This time he goes 1 mile on the turf, where he has done his best work and at a high level. It’s kind of tough, more like crazy to like a runner whose jock couldn’t find his way to the Pimlico Winners’ Cricle until yesterday (was 0 for 25). So maybe now he can get on a roll?! Yeah, wishful thinking but these turf races are where the value lays.
SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $0.10 ($71.10 bankroll – $71 wager + $0 return)
Threw the 10 cents remaining into a Wishing Well hoping for better luck for the remainder of the PImlico Meet. In place of the SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, this portion of the blog will feature some other runners on the PImlico card worth a second look. Everytime I’m at the track and standing in line to make my wager, inevitably the guy in front or behind me will ask, “Who do ya like?!” So these picks will be categorized as the “Other WDYL Plays”…
2nd race: #2 – Skip To The North (9-2): A gate-to-wire candidate
3rd race: #4 – Classic Rock Star (7-5): Del Park owner loves to come to MD and win; easy money
5th race on the turf: use #1 – Liscarroll (8-1), #3 – Safe Landing (4-1) and #6 – Annapolis (3-1) w/ Longshot Pick
6th race: #6 – The Devil You Say (12-1) chances increase with a sudden downpour about 15 minutes before Post Time.
9th race (DD): #2 – One Hot Toddy (9-2) & Blessed Soul (5-2) w/ #5 – Heavy Favorite (9-5) & #1 – Compline (12-1)